Motorists will see East Coast gas prices spike as hurricane approaches

(September 11, 2018) On the week, the national gas price average jumped a penny to land at $2.85. Prices remain relatively stable across the country as gasoline demand dipped slightly and gasoline inventories incrementally built according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. With the switchover to winter-blend gasoline fast approaching (Sept. 15), gas prices are expected to decline this month.

The threat of Hurricane Florence —  which is now a Category 3 storm and projected to hit between South Carolina and Virginia by Friday — will likely have an impact on East Coast gas prices this week should the storm follow its projected path.

“A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in retail demand. Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA will continue to monitor the storm and will provide updates. Motorists can find the latest gas prices at”

Quick Stats

    The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.52), Mississippi ($2.54), Arkansas ($2.57), Louisiana ($2.58), South Carolina ($2.59), Tennessee ($2.59), Virginia ($2.61), Missouri ($2.61), Texas ($2.62) and Oklahoma ($2.63).

    The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: Michigan (-12 cents), South Dakota (-10 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Colorado (+7 cents), North Dakota (-7 cents), Alaska (-7 cents), Nebraska (-6 cents), Florida (-6 cents), District of Colombia (-5 cents) and Tennessee (-5 cents).

Pump prices have jumped as much as a nickel in the South and Southeast on the week, but only for a few states: South Carolina (+5 cents), Georgia (+3 cents) and Texas (+3 cents). These three states land on the Top 10 with the largest jumps in pump prices on the week. Florida saw prices drop by four cents, the largest of any state in the region, while most states are seeing pump prices a penny cheaper or stable since last Monday.

As Hurricane Florence approaches, South Carolina and surrounding states could see brief spikes in pump prices this week.

Gasoline inventories continue to register slightly above 80.6 million barrels, according to the EIA’s latest data report. Total inventories are slightly higher compared to most of July and early August, which saw levels below 80 million, indicating that demand may be strong through the region through early fall. This could mean gas prices may not drop as quickly as expected post Labor Day.